BASW members vote for merger with College of Social Work

BASW members yesterday backed a series of motions allowing it to merge with the College of Social Work.

BASW members yesterday backed a series of motions allowing it to merge with the College of Social Work.

More than three-quarters of members attending the organisation’s additional general meeting in Birmingham supported a resolution enabling a merger. But they also backed a separate motion that states that the organisation will continue to develop its status as “the true independent voice of social workers”.

The endorsement of the motions follows a breakdown in merger talks between BASW and the college in September after the college said it had “proved impossible to reach an agreement in the necessary timescales”.

Hilton Dawson, the chief executive of BASW, said the approval of the motions allowing the merger was a “huge challenge to government ministers”.

“We’ve been thrown out of the process but we’ve affirmed our willingness to support a joint college when it is on a proper, ethical footing,” he said. “The ball is now in their court. This is the best offer they will get.”

BASW has yet to provide details of how many members attended the meeting or the exact levels of support for each motion.

The motions approved were as follows:

  • A special resolution amending the articles of association to permit BASW to transfer its assets and undertakings to another similar institution.
  • A motion allowing BASW’s leadership to continue merger discussions with the interim board of the College of Social Work.
  • A motion to allow the organisation to “formally and definitely establish BASW as the College of Social Work across the UK, into which the interim board could then be legally invite to merge” subject to further consultation.
  • The final motion agreed that subject to further consultation the organisation could also seek to “strengthen and develop” BASW and the Social Workers’ Union as the “true independent voice of social workers”.

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